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  • Writer's picturefetchfix

Ultimate Guide to Safe Dog Toys - Part 2

In Part I of this blog series we took a look at the importance of reducing choking risk by choosing the proper dog toy size and shape. Today we will be discussing common dog toy constructions - how they are designed & built, where they are made and why it matters! If you missed Part I or want to skip to another topic in our series, use the links below!

A puppy visiting the Vet

Part II: Toy Construction – how a toy is made, where it is made, why it matters!

Often toys are impulse buys for our dogs but the little design details can make a big difference in safety. Bloody gums, cracked teeth, and cuts to the mouth are common concerns for your canine friends that you can help avoid by ensuring the toys you select don't have sharp edges and aren't made from materials that are too hard.

Another important but often overlooked part of a toy’s construction is what's on the inside. Did you know that hollow toys (like tennis balls) or hollow toys with a single hole can

A broken tennis ball exposing hollow core

create suction when a dog chews that can pull in the soft tissues from the mouth, lips and tongue? Suction over an extended time can lead to damaged tissues that may need to be removed through surgery. To avoid these risks, look for toys that are solid on the inside or have multiple large openings that will make suction harder to build up. As with all toys, but especially with hollow toys, it is important to inspect them for damage before and after play. If they become damaged you should replace them immediately. You can learn more about Fetchfix's solid toy construction on our FAQ page.

Lastly, you may not think about lead or arsenic when it comes to your dog's toys, but some are cheaply made or made in countries with loose controls when it comes to materials selection or manufacturing processes. Another common construction issue with inexpensive imported toys is thin walls. This describes the thickness of the toy's material at any given cross-section. Thin walls are prone to failure when dogs naturally chew during play or retrieval. These failures can lead to the suction issues mentioned above or to pieces more easily breaking off and becoming choking hazards. Pay attention to where the toys you buy are made. Look for toys made in countries with high reputations for manufacturing and materials standards like the USA.

Next up in Part III we will be discussing common dog toy materials and common material risks. There are some surprising dangers with one of the most common dog toys in the world that you don't want to miss.


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